Iola High’s varsity volleyball team placed second in its own tournament Saturday. The Fillies lost a two-set match with Pittsburg High School in the title match.
“Last year we got fourth, and in the tournament last weekend (the JV) got fourth,” coach Emily Sigg said. “It’s been such a long time since Iola has even played in the championship, it was exciting to just be there. They played so well. We can’t be disappointed that we got second.”
The championship match was the second time Iola faced the Purple Dragons in the tournament. The two teams played a three-set thriller in group play earlier in the day. The Fillies lost the first set 25-20 then won the next set 27-25 to force a tiebreaker. Iola ended up being on the losing end of the 27-25 third set.
“That was intense,” Sigg said. “We really battled with them.”
In the first set of the championship, the Fillies started off in a 5-0 hole only to come back with four straight points. However, Iola never could gain a lead in the set.
Tying the score at 12-12 would be the closest they came. It was a point-for-point match from then on, with Pittsburg taking advantage toward the end for a 25-20 win.
In the second set, Iola trailed, 12-8. The Fillies rallied for six straight points to take a 14-12 lead. With a 17-15 lead, the Purple Dragons then scored four straight points to take a 19-17 lead. Iola took a 23-22 advantage, but Pittsburg scored three in a row to win ,25-23.
“I was happy with the tournament. I was happy with how the team played,” Sigg said. “We had a girl take her ACT this morning and a girl who hurt her shoulder on Monday. These girls really had to battle. We switched the rotation, pulled girls up. They really adjusted well.”
IN GROUP PLAY, Iola went 2-1, losing to Pittsburg. The Fillies beat Prairie View, 25-10, 25-23, and Labette County, 25-22, 25-15. The only time Iola trailed in those two matches was 8-6 in the second set against Prairie View.
“Prairie View, we beat them,” Sigg said. “Labette you never know what they’re going to be like. They fought, but we did really well against them, too. I’m glad it was set up the way it was because we progressed as the teams got harder.”
In the semifinals, Iola beat Burlington, 25-23 and 25-20. Burlington played in the other side of the group in the tournament.
The varsity, JV and freshman teams travel to Wellsville on Tuesday. The freshman team hosts its home tournament starting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.